In my last few blog posts, I have defended the Blue Dogs and have been taken to task by readers who think that there is no room for centrists in the Democratic Party. I am not bothered by folks speaking their minds, but I will never apologize for standing up for moderates. As a change of pace, in this blog post, I am going to discuss the founding principle of the Blue Dogs: ensuring our government doesn’t spend more money than it has.
Today, our country is facing a budget deficit that threatens our ability to operate as a functioning democracy. This is serious stuff. And whether or not you agree with the Blue Dogs, you have to agree that we need to get the budget deficit under control. The policies of President Bush may have created these deficits, but it is the responsibility of President Obama and Democrats in Congress to resolve them.
Eliminating our budget deficit isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it is going to require very hard choices for the Congress and the President. Even though it is the right thing to do, people in power will pay political consequences for cutting government spending.
One issue that Congress is looking at over the next few weeks is whether or not to fund a second jet engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF is a next-generation military plane, and it is costing the taxpayer a heck of a lot more than originally promised by defense contractors and the Pentagon (isn’t that always the case).
In 2006 and 2008, many Blue Dogs were elected to Congress because voters wanted government to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. Blue Dogs were sent to Congress as a rebuke to the Bush administration’s short-term thinking for political gain that created our massive budget deficit. For Congress and the President today, the alternative engine is a tough call. Oppose it, and save money now. Support it, and save money for decades to come. I think we all know the right answer if we are ever going to make a serious impact on cutting or even eliminating our budget deficit.